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Cal McNair and the Subtle Art of Being an Elite Failson

Nepotism has failed the Houston Texans.

Houston Texans v St. Louis Rams Photo by Bill Baptist/Getty Images

We’ve all known people like Cal McNair. Somebody who was literally handed everything he had.

Heck, I had an uncle like this from the wealthy side of my family. He barely made it through high school, got a job as a ‘roided up cop, wrecked too many squad cars, and was finally fired. My grandfather then hired him at a salary of over six figures a year to literally sit in a pickup truck for a construction company (because he couldn’t do the actual work) and apply for jobs at other police departments across the country. There were no takers.

That didn’t stop Grandpa from buying my uncle a spot at St. Edwards in Austin, where he went on to get a fake degree. Once Grrandpa died and my uncle was left to his own devices, he fell apart and died at an early age. He was a pretty decent failson.

Cal McNair, however, is an elite, next-level failson. Let’s look at his list of “accomplishments” after college:

  • Prior to 2001, McNair worked at Cogen Technologies for 11 years. In 1987, he was hired as one of the company’s first employees.” Cogen was founded by Cal’s daddy, Bob.
  • “McNair is a member of the board of trustees of the Robert and Janice McNair Foundation and is a director, chairman and chief executive officer of the Houston Texans Foundation.” Pops again.
  • “McNair also serves as vice chair of RCM Financial Services and as a director of Palmetto Trust Company.” Ummmm, also his dad.
  • Finally, “D. Cal McNair is the chairman and chief executive officer of the Houston Texans.” You got it: Bob strikes once again.

Fun Fact: Robert McNair was able to buy the Texans after selling power plants to Enron. In a way, the Texans were created by blood money.

Cal has done literally nothing on his own. Everything he has was handed to him by his father. This happens a lot. I get it. Some people are born on third base and think they invented baseball. Some of us—waves—had to earn our way to success.

Where Cal truly excels as a failson is that he is arrogant enough to believe he knows better than anybody else how to run things. Chase off DeAndre Hopkins? It was a good trade. Keep Bill O’Brien around for too many years? He’s tough, smart, and dependable. Nobody who knows what they are doing says something like this, and especially not now when he’s overseeing the detonation of a business that prints money:

That’s 31 empty words completely void of meaning or thought. I guess I should give Cal credit for being able to say something so vacuous, but nah.

“Communicating our message, our vision?” WHAT DOES THIS EVEN MEAN??? It’s a football team, not some new religious sect trying to recruit new members. This is completely and utterly ridiculous.

I often brag that, if I have one elite skill, it’s I am able to surround myself with people smarter than me. I mean, just look at my history on BRB with writers such as Tim, Big Matt, Little Matt, Diehard Chris, Rivers, UT, Brett, the current cast, and on and on and on. And Scott, of course.

Smart people surround themselves with smarter people. They are willing to accept challenges to their world view. Putting yourself into a thought vacuum is a surefire way to fail. And yet:


This is first ballot, Hall of Fame level empty-minded drivel from a self-important conman of epic proportions. Who, anywhere, thinks this is funny?

When you are a dullard, this is the kind of trash that is absolutely enchanting. This is Rasputin holding sway over Czar Nicholas kind of stuff.

Truly, this is what makes Cal’s failsoning so perfectly and subtly elite. To fall for such an empty vessel like Jack Easterby because you are so arrogant and afraid of differing opinions is what makes Cal McNair the ultimate failson.

Lest you forget, let’s please make sure to remember who is to blame for Jack Easterby being a part of the Texans franchise: Bill O’Brien. BOB will have destroyed the Texans for well over a decade when all is said and done.

I’m afraid I do not have much hope for the franchise as long as “messaging” and “vision” take precedence over finding good football players that meet your strategic, on-field needs. Firing Easterby would help, sure, but there’s another Easterby around the corner just waiting to charm a gullible, weak man again.